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with Chef Domenica Catelli

Domenica Catelli's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years. For more information on nutrition and eating well, visit our Real Life Nutrition blog.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Quick Comfort Cooking Without the Guilt

There is no better time for a warm, hearty, and delicious one-dish dinner then these chilly nights following Thanksgiving and preceding the Christmas party schedule that’s about to unfold.

white bean stew

Photo: bemomalicious.com

One of my favorite dishes is white bean stew with beef or lamb, garlic and sage. It includes the simplest of ingredients and preparation but is so satisfying. If you have access to white cannellini beans (canned or in a jar) at your store, that is my favorite type of white bean to use. If not, you can use a white navy bean. Beans are one of the few items out of a can that I fully encourage to use. Most of us don’t have time to make beans from their dried form. Having extra cans in the pantry allows for a weeknight dinner in less than twenty minutes of cook time and about five minutes of prep time.

First you will want to get beef, lamb, or pork and cut into two-inch chunks. (You can buy stew meat or a tenderer piece of meat like the loin). If you use a stew meat note that the meat will have a chewier texture than if you were to make a dish that you slow cook for hours. For me, I don’t mind this texture for the time I save.

You will need a pot that can hold two cans of beans and about 1 pound of meat. First, salt and pepper your meat. Heat a bit of extra virgin olive oil in the pan and brown your meat. At this point you can add fresh chopped garlic (about 1 tablespoon) and sage (about a tablespoon) you can substitute rosemary or thyme or do a combination of the three.

Add firmer vegetables like potatoes and carrots after the meat. From there, you will add your rinsed beans, and a 1/2-cup of broth or water. You can get creative with what type of veggie you want to add. I like to take a head of dinosaur kale and cut it into one-inch strips or a few cups of baby spinach and add this at the end. Small cut up carrots and or celery works as well. Cook everything together for 15-20 minutes over medium heat. If you are using kale or spinach add it in about five minutes before you are done with cooking time. You are then ready for a quick, healthy and delicious comfort meal.

For the recipe go to my website: White Bean, Sage and Beef (or Lamb) Stew

Until next time, stay fresh and delicious!

~ Chef Domenica

Posted by: Chef Domenica Catelli at 7:28 am

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